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» 18.11.2009 - Nigerian fishermen flee Bakassi Peninsula
» 16.10.2009 - Chad expels Cameroon editor
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» 12.11.2008 - 10 hostages freed in Cameroon

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Hostage killed in failed rescue operation

afrol News, 5 November - A hostage was killed in a failed rescue attempt by Nigerian Marines in Cameroon's Bakassi Peninsula today, a leader of the militia has reported.

Last Friday, armed attackers riding speed boats boarded a tug boat at an oil terminal off coast of Cameroon and made off with 10 hostages, six French nationals, two Cameroonians, one Tunisian and one Senegalese.

Militia commander Ebi Dari said unidentified hostage had died during a raid by security forces in the country's Bakassi Peninsula.

Mr Dari gave few details, saying only one hostage has been killed during an exchange of gunfire between militia and Nigerian marines claiming Nigerian forces shot the hostage.

Stephanie Elbaz, spokeswoman for maritime services company Bourbon that owns Bourbon Sagitta from which the hostages were taken reserved her comments about militia report.

Two allied militia groups opposed to this year's transfer of the Bakassi peninsula from Nigeria to Cameroon in August abducted oil workers early last Friday.

Mr Dari is leader of Cameroon-based Niger Delta Defense and Security Council (NDDSC), an umbrella group for several militias that have operated in Bakassi for years.

The militias want autonomy for Bakassi saying it desperately needs more development.

Mr Dari's NDDSC and allied Bakassi Freedom Fighters have waged a series of attacks on oil facilities in Nigeria's Niger Delta that have shut down almost a quarter of output in Africa's oil top producer after Bakassi was handed over in August.

NDDSC has previously said it wants Cameroon and Nigeria to renegotiate the deal under which Nigeria ceded Bakassi to Cameroon on 14 August to comply with a World Court ruling.

It has also demanded compensation for Nigerians who chose to leave, and the release of two militia members held by Cameroon.

Mr Dari has said the militants would hold the hostages until Cameroon's government met NDDSC to discuss their demands.

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